Congratulations to Grangewood

We’re helping our client, Grangewood, to celebrate the successful completion of the UK’s first BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ transformation of a fine Grade II residential property in Belgravia, on Grosvenor’s London estate.

The period property in Ebury street SW1, which was formerly a run-down hotel spanning 4,200 sq ft over five floors (now six), has been transformed into three market leading sustainable rental apartments, setting a new environmental standard.  Designed to reduce carbon emissions by over 75% (from the property pre-development), the dynamic refurbishment is almost 30 years ahead of the national carbon reduction target of 80% by 2050.

Mike Stevens, Grangewood’s Managing Director comments: “119 is the eco-friendliest grade II listed home in the UK. It sets a new benchmark for everyone to follow in the sustainable retrofit of listed buildings in the UK.

Grangewood used cutting edge retrofit methodology, weaving sustainable, ultra-low carbon impact technology throughout the listed building.

Mike explains: “At least 50% of what we have learnt and achieved on this project could be readily adopted and applied to other listed properties. It really demonstrates that a low carbon solution can be cost effectively achieved. It’s a big step forward for the industry.”

As part of the never ending battle to ensure heritage London buildings are preserved, Grangewood hopes the project will set a precedent for listed properties so that they fit for purpose for future generations to come.

 

Happy Birthday Quantem

 

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2016 is a very special year for construction consultant Quantem as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Since it started the breakaway trend in quantity surveying back in 2006 it’s gone from strength to strength, active on some of the UK’s most iconic projects and boasting record levels of growth.  This summer we’ve been busy helping Quantem share its story.

Capturing its key achievements we developed a timeline for the consultant for its Chancery Lane head office. The 3 metre installation takes pride of place in its reception and is a visual marker of its outstanding operational performance and proud journey during which many social, sporting and charitable moments have been shared.

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On its birthday employees and clients were presented with a 10 year celebration book, which we carefully researched and curated. The keepsake is a record of the shared highlights and memories of the last ten years.

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There was no better place to publically tell its story than by entering the Building awards. With stiff competition and only 1000 words and a 250 summary statement in which to impress the judges the entry had to be hard hitting, clear and concise. Having helped many clients claim the prestigious Building awards winning title we were able to advise Quantem on the best approach and create a strong, evidence based entry.

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Westminster peoples favourite

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The Houses of Parliament has been crowned London’s favourite heritage building, in a poll to identify the capitals best loved heritage buildings.

The Natural History Museum came a close second with St Pancras Station and St Pauls Cathedral in joint third place. Also featuring in the top ten were Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the V&A and the breath-taking Greenwich Painted Hall, described as the ‘finest dining hall in Europe’.

37 different buildings were nominated, from the symbolic to iconic architectural masterpieces as well as hidden gems, reflecting the breadth of heritage buildings we’re so lucky to have right here on our doorstep in London.

Working with the Heritage of London Trust, Grangewood canvassed the views of the Trusts members and professionals from across the built environment, responsible for the design and construction of London’s skyline today. The research was conducted by Macbeth Lankester as part of a wider ‘Celebrate Heritage’ campaign we have rolled out for Grangewood to shine a spotlight on heritage buildings, to celebrate everything that makes them special, and tell its brand story.

“When I see it I feel proud to be British. It brings back so many memories of my life – running the marathon, going home from great nights out with friends seeing it out of the taxi window”, comments one respondent as he shared his views on what makes the Houses of Parliament special to him

People value and connect with heritage buildings for a mix of reasons but mainly because they tell a story of our past, provide a legacy for future generations, and preserve traditional building techniques. At a personal level they evoke fond memories of happy times spent with family and friends.

‘The survey shows that people are deeply attached to London’s heritage buildings.  Over 85% of people we spoke to said their hearts sit with traditional heritage buildings, as opposed to modern ones” comments Richard Stevens, CEO, Grangewood.

For everyone who took part in the survey Grangewood has made a donation to the Heritage of London Trust, raising over £3,000 to support its projects and save buildings ‘at risk’.  The charity helps preserve the buildings and monuments that tell the story of the city and its people.

The top ten favourite heritage buildings in London

  1. Houses of Parliament
  2. The Natural History Museum
  3. St Pauls Cathedral
  4. St Pancras Station
  5. Buckingham Palace
  6. Tower Bridge
  7. Tower of London
  8. 8.V&A Museum
  9. Greenwich painted Hall
  10. Sir John Soane’s Museum

TBS goes live

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We recently had the pleasure of working with TBS engineering (part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, multinational conglomerate). Founded in 1967 TBS is the world leader in producing automatic machinery for the lead acid battery industry.

It develops and supplies machines to OEM and replacement battery manufacturers that go on to produce millions of batteries that power the world’s biggest names in automotive engineering.

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We worked closely with the team to evolve its well respected brand identity and to redevelop its website.  It’s new web presence reflects its heritage and the global nature of it business.  It’s playing a key role in attracting and supporting the recruitment of its growing talent pool.

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Secretary of State pays us a visit

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We were joined by some very special guests at the flagship store of designer furniture retailer Heal’s, who hosted this year’s Grown in Britain Week launch event as part of its own Celebration of Wood season.

Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for the environment officially launched the Week to a packed room full of leading industry figures. She not only praised the work of Grown in Britain but also Heal’s commitment to championing furniture produced using wood from these shores.

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During the event we captured some great vox-pops from guests, who talked to us about the importance of Grown in Britain, and as part of a poll they told us their favourite tree type. The mighty Oak came top of the charts.  We look forward to sharing the footage soon.

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Launching Woodsure

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Sat in front of my woodstove this Christmas, warm and cosy, it got me thinking about where the woodfuel I was burning had come from.

It’s a good question and one that wouldn’t have really crossed my mind until I started working with Woodsure – a certification scheme which assures the quality and sustainability of woodfuel for UK homeowners and industry.

Like me you might be surprised to know that a quarter of the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of woodfuel we use in the UK every year to heat our homes, is estimated to be poor quality.

So what does this mean for the homeowner?  Put simply every time we burn poor quality woodfuel we’re effectively burning our hard earned cash, and in some cases damaging UK air quality. So for us homeowners who fitted a stove to reduce our carbon footprint, we could actually be doing the opposite.

With over 1 million homes in the UK having a woodstove it’s an important message that we’ve been helping Woodsure communicate to the public and trade industry.

In most cases it’s pretty much impossible to identify poor quality woodfuel just by looking at it.  This is why Woodsure is such an important scheme. For the first time it enables consumers, like you and I, to make informed choices.

I’d always assumed that the woodfuel I sourced from my local supplier was from British woodland on the edge of town, where the trees cut down are replaced.  And the issue of quality had never entered my mind.  But now I can see the wood for the trees.

So next time you buy your woodfuel choose a Woodsure certified supplier to guarantee you’re getting quality woodfuel from well managed woodland.  And if you want the added comfort of knowing it was sourced locally from British woodland, just look for the Grown in Britain logo too. While you’re toasting your toes next to the fire you can be proud that you’re supporting your local economy and the growth of our much loved woodlands.

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